The must-read business books of 2016

There’s no two ways about it: reading is the new working. For employees and entrepreneurs alike, putting down the pen and picking up a book can lead to a wide range of insights, productivity gains and an improved work-life balance. We’ve collated a list of the best business books of 2016 to set you up for success this year.

How to Have a Good Day by Caroline Webb

If you’re looking to make every day a good one, you can’t go past Caroline Webb’s insightful book. A former partner at McKinsey & Co, one of the world’s biggest consulting firms, Webb shines a light on getting the most out of your daily routine through the principles of behavioural economics, psychology and neuroscience. Webb navigates everything from the mundane Monday meeting to nailing your social interactions first time, every time.

There’s plenty of complex, evidence-based advice to be found within, but digestible success stories using Webb’s techniques are peppered throughout to keep things super useful, no matter where you’re at in your career.

“Mimicking the physical actions associated with feeling happy, confident, and relaxed appears to tell your brain that you are in fact happy, confident, and relaxed, creating a self-fulfilling loop.” – Caroline Webb, How to Have a Good Day

How to Have a Good Day by Caroline Webb

Superbosses by Sydney Finkelstein

For bosses and bosses-to-be, Superbosses explores the “common approach to finding, nurturing, leading, and even letting go of great people” employed by some of the world’s greatest bosses.

More than ten years of research and 200 interviews have gone into this indispensable boss handbook by acclaimed professor, Sydney Finkelstein.

Arguing that “superbosses” exist in every industry, Finkelstein looks at everyone from restauranteurs to TV execs and the many ways they manage their way to success and success-seeking teams. This is ideal reading for any aspiring leaders who want to be exceptional.

“When the time is right, superbosses often encourage star talent to leave, after which these acolytes usually become part of the superboss’ strategic network in the industry.” – Sydney Finkelstein, Superbosses

Superbosses by Sydney Finkelstein

Grit by Angela Duckworth

A must-read if you’re hungry for success, Grit by pioneering psychologist, Angela Duckworth, is your go-to for identifying and achieving all your goals in 2017.

Focusing on the hypothesis that raw talent is nowhere near as important as most think, Duckworth says that “grit” – a special blend of passion and focused long-term persistence – is the real key to success.

Featuring interviews with marketing CEOs, teachers working in the most demanding schools, and a host of other people in a variety of positions across industries, Grit finds its greatest authority in Duckworth herself – a scientist’s daughter constantly criticised for her lack of smarts; and now an adviser to the White House and World Bank.

“I won’t just have a job; I’ll have a calling. I’ll challenge myself every day. When I get knocked down, I’ll get back up. I may not be the smartest person in the room, but I’ll strive to be the grittiest.” – Angela Duckworth, Grit

Grit by Angela Duckworth

Deep Work by Cal Newport

If you want to get down to the nitty-gritty, Deep Work is essential reading for the ultimate master craftsman.

In our busy world, distraction is a constant. Author Cal Newport emphasises that to deal with distraction, we need to harness pure focus to “quickly master complicated information and produce better results in less time”.

What results is equal parts inspiring and practical, including in-depth research outlining how “deep work” can benefit any and every type of work. There’s even a handy ruleset for training your mind to boot.

You’ll also be treated to remarkable stories about the world’s best business leaders, including how social media magnate Peter Shankman embarked on a non-stop return flight to Tokyo to write a book free from disruption.

“Who you are, what you think, feel, and do, what you love—is the sum of what you focus on.” – Cal Newport, Deep Work

Deep Work by Cal Newport

The Happiness Track by Emma Seppala

The bible for work-life balance, The Happiness Track suggests personal fulfilment is the quickest and easiest route to business and life success.

Sure to resonate with everyone, Seppala recognises the mistaken idea that “getting ahead means doing everything that’s thrown at us (and then some) with razor-sharp focus”.

Rather, The Happiness Track focuses on dispelling these myths through the latest science-backed research into cognitive psychology, including insights into creativity and positive stress.

It’s teeming with tips on how to improve your career by staying focused on yourself, but the book’s true power lies in reprogramming your mind for sustainable happiness .

“Think of how differently your interactions and productivity are when you feel stressed, sad, or angry versus when you are happy, relaxed, and grateful.” – Emma Seppala, The Happiness Track

The Happiness Track by Emma Seppala